Friday, 21 January 2011

The internet revolution debate-part two

Here we are back with part 2 of the internet revolution debate, and who better to interview than two of the guys partly responsible for this article and for sure for posting some of flatland classics on the internet recently, and also Viki Gomez, who inspired many with his intrikat parts back in the day...

"As the proliferation of “video classics” floods the internet, I ask the question, what are the positives and negatives of this situation?"

Kala Yasuda:
I think videos regarded as "classics" available online for all to see positively affect three groups of people: the younger riders who have never seen them before, the older ones who've previously seen them either a few times or religiously on a VHS tape through a CRT television and the riders/producers of these videos.

It's mostly about good education for the younger folks who may be either not yet aware of what's possible, caught up in the latest riding trends or wondering why so many old farts are posting comments hailing guys like Edgar Plascencia, Ross Smith and Steve Mulder, among others. It could also promote progress, as through viewing some old video, a kid may see and learn a 15 year-old trick/combo from today's perspective, add a modern twist to it and bust it out at some comp, blowing minds in the process.

VCR's are a thing of the past and there are a lot of older riders who are unable to convert their old video collections or can no longer view them because they either have no player or have worn their tapes out from continuous viewing. Inspiration is the positive effect here, as older folks who haven't been riding much or just stopped because of work or family obligations could see their old heroes again online and be motivated to get back on their bikes after replacing the grips and tires or, even better, get out and buy a whole new setup with all the money/credit they've earned (in part because they no longer have the strength to throw around the tanks that were commonly ridden "back in the day"). Either way, it would help to fuel the industry and get more people riding.

The third area where I see positive effects of classic videos available online for free viewing lie with the producers of these videos and the riders depicted in them along the lines of marketing and social networking. Such folks may not feel inclined on their current websites or FB pages, which would tend to be aimed at a wider range of visitors, to offer info or footage of some shabby BMX video they either made or rode in back in 1994, but someone viewing that video could be steered toward their latest works, which would bring them more attention and perhaps even business. Once posted online with info about the producers and riders, descriptions of the videos could also include additional where-are-they-now information, their current sponsors, or links to related websites and facebook pages -- all at their discretion, of course. And this would all be info displayed by the choice of the interested and dedicated viewer, not as some crummy pop-up ad. It would help to promote the collective consciousness of and respect for these guys.

As for the negative effects of classic BMX videos online, I see only two, and they're quite minimal. One involves the limitations of the internet and the tight squeeze that it has on copyrights. For example, YouTube now limits the length of uploaded videos to 15 minutes and can detect any copyrighted background music down to its bass line or sax solo (a bit exaggerated). This results in videos having to be cut up into little sections, maybe even having their music replaced, and losing their nostalgic feel for the hardcore old-schooler imagining himself back on his parents' living room sofa watching a bulbous flickering television screen. Varied access speeds can cause choppy viewing, but if you've got the patience you could try the site where someone was able to download the entire Graveyard STATIC video in four parts and convert it to DVD. The other negative effect I see could be on the producer/rider who may not want their work/riding available for viewing, a rare problem easily solved by simply requesting that the posted video be removed.
As for proper respects to the riders, I'm not too keen on who's who other than the big names, unless it's specified on the screen or in the credits, so if there's anyone you see in a video who's not but you think should be credited, just post a comment with their name and the time (00:00) they appear in it and I'll try to add that info into the description.

And with regards to picture quality, the files I've been posting were created four years ago with standard hardware for viewing on my iPod, so nothing close to HD. My tapes are still in fine shape but I don't want to re-convert them with a better quality because I think it would be great if Chad released a DVD set of all his hard work. And if he does, at his request, I'd remove the inTRIKat stuff from my channel. The ELLS BELLS stuff is staying though, as I've heard he's busy with other things.

Well, a bit of history. Back in the day, the first BMX video I remember watching was 101 Tricks part 1 (released 1987), that was back in 1990. The second one was Dorkin' 3 (released in 1989), I've watched just in 1991. So, you see, the physical media took two years to get here.
Those were hard times.
Generally speaking, when the internet and youtube come to play, everything started to change.
Nowadays, I see little kids sitting in front of their computers and downloading in minutes everything they need to know in BMX, in order to stay up to date about the whole scene (like riders, tricks, champs, trends, parts,etc).
So, the upside of having the classics available online right now is, of course new-schoolers have a chance to see the huge great job that has been done by the legend riders in the good old times.
They have a chance to see their roots. Also they have a chance to know who has invented what. And last,they have a chance to see awesome combos/tricks/links that has been done just once, and never again.
Having the classics available online is also a good deal for the old-schoolers, whom have already got them on VHS, but unfortunately they have lost. Now, they can bring back good memories.

Now of course, the downsides:
So far I haven't received any negative feedback. But I know there are the copyright issues of the legal usage and exposure of this stuff. So, what I'm trying to do is just put online the very old stuff. I'm only publishing videos that are at least ten years old. These videos are no longer available anywhere on the marketplace.
So, doing this way, I think I'm not hurting anybody. Of course, I'm not making money as well.
The only purpose of sharing this stuff is to allow people all over the world to see the amazing great job before by the legend riders. I know their names, some have quit riding, some are still riding.
I'm thankful to all of them to teach me and show me along the timeline how-to "flatland". I admire and respect all those riders shown in the "video classics", and its depends on me, their names will never be forgotten!!
I started sharing my own stuff too,  like "The flatland's Prisoner" (2007), and "ThunderFlats n'FlatRangers" (2010). All for free. I thought the future has come and it's about time to change the old-school trading style.
I haven't got the answers, and I'm supposed to do that. But some things are for sure, New era kids wont wait to  much to get stuff in their hands, like before, a week is an eternity for them, and most importantly, physical media's consume our limited resources.
There's much to say, but, those above were just my thoughts, and I don't mean to be the truth of anything.

Positives:For me it s so positive! I grow up with many flatlanders but no videos to watch. I guess that is the reason that pushed me to think by my own and make my own tricks. On top, those riders like Chase, Chad Degroot, Phil Dolan, Trevor Meyer, Jesse Puente, Martti Kuoppa, Kevin Jones, Edgar Plascencia and many more, are the riders I always looked up to! The creators, the masters, the freestyers...and having the chance to watch those videos that show the best times of flatland is so good for me! I get more motivation watching the classic videos than any others.


tdotflatland said...

lol @ you guys crying about copyrights and stuff...

you guys want to see Viki's solo video??? - "madrid sessions" i think it was called? type in "viki kgb" on vimeo.... lol...youre welcome

flatmatters said...

I don't think anyones crying, just merely asking a question, what are the positives and negatives of this situation, bit of respect for the artist and all that..I do believe the DVD will be a rarer thing in all of bmx within the next year, full videos are up online right after the DVD gets dropped. There's not a lot you can do copyright wise, I guess it is just having bit of respect. What else can it be?
Thanks to Kala, Claybom and Viki for taking the time to voice their opinions.

Howard said...

i agree with Clayborn i really don't see any negatives its there for public entertainment and to enjoy watching , i think it certainly educates us as some may have not seen some of these classic's so in that sense it opens our eyes to what was going on at that time , thanks to Kala and Clayborn for their dedication .

Darren Hough said...

I don't think any reasonable person should be getting too upset, considering the vast majority of those videos we grew up watching in the 90's featured unauthorized music that would have probably resulted in their makers facing their own legal issues had bike riding had more than about 300 people involved in it at the time. The only people I've heard getting upset about it are the Props guys, who probably just don't want to draw attention to the fact that they made their living for the first 5 or six years selling videos with a stolen soundtrack.

flatmatters said...

Good points Darren, I thought however Brian Tunney cleared all the music on props??

Shane Neville said...

From my perspective, the only reason Flatland Manifesto isn't online for free is that I'm working 3 jobs and raising a family - that doesn't leave a lot of time to capture the videos and post them to Youtube.

I'm happy other riders have taken up the torch and posting the classics online. I know that if I contacted another rider and asked them to take the videos down, they would.

Flatlanders are generally pretty good people. Besides TJ Perry, I haven't met a flatlander I didn't like. ;)

Kala said...

@idiotflatland, no one's crying here, just explaining copyrights for those crying about old videos that don't have the original music. What's important is that anyone can see the riding and who it is, with or without the music, but some videos aren't even viewable in certain countries because of copyrights.
It's all about intellectual property--creative development, legitimate ownership and proper management.

Brian said...

I actually worked for Props for a year and a half in the late 90's, Pre Tunney. We had another employee that did all the music clearance legalities. Actually it wasn't that hard because SHE had some contacts at several underground labels (that had popular music in the BMX world at the time) that sent PROPS music to review and use at their discretion. So copyright infringement wasn't really an issue. Plus I think the internet revolution in general has wiped out the old idea of "copyrighting" in general. Its just way to easy to cut and paste images, text, music, etc . We need to think about it differently and accept it as a form or flattery or promotion and go from there.

flatmatters said...

Thanks Brian, that was great feedback.